More properly called Rapid Progressive Volo Shooting, this is an event where target balls are placed on pre-positioned locations on mats located at each end of the court. The contestant runs to the 7.5 meter line and lofts his shot at the target, and then runs to the other end, picks up a ball from a stand, and repeats the process back in the opposite direction.
There are six target spots on each mat located .8 meter apart. After each hit, the target ball is placed in the next position (.8 meter farther away). After the last target is struck, the targets are moved progressively forward and so on. The exciting event lasts 5 minutes.
Contestants in this event are physically fit and train like 1500 meter track athletes. John Ross of the USBF informs us that the world record is 51 hits in 51 attempts, adding:
“Imagine a 1500 meter runner throwing a 2-1/2 lb. ball every 30 meters along the way and hitting a 4 inch target 40 to 60 feet away with 98 to 100% accuracy!” — John Ross
To recap, for this event a mat is used, upon which are placed target balls. As a player makes a good hit, the target is progressively moved farther back from one to six designated spots on the mat. When you hit the first target, a “spotter” places the target ball in the second position on the mat.
There are six positions on each mat, and a mat at each end of the court. You have five minutes to run back and forth, hitting as many targets as you can within the time limit. It is ironic that, to the uninformed, bocce conjures up images of old, out-of-shape wine drinking, cigar smokers, while this demanding event rivals any cardiovascular endeavor one can imagine.
The Bocce Guy